Federal prisoners do not have access to word processors. Instead, we have access to typewriters and Trust Fund Limited Inmate Communication System (TRULINCS) computers which allow us to draft electronic messages — like emails, but not exactly the same — which we can send to approved contacts. Since word processors are so handy when drafting and revising text, I often utilize the TRULINCS electronic messaging system as the next best thing to write my school papers. By adhering to the six following steps, I can use the TRULINCS electronic messaging system to draft quality school papers.
Step one is to merely draft an electronic message containing the school paper. I do so by logging into a TRULINCS computer in my housing unit, selecting the “Public Messaging” option, and selecting the “Draft” icon. This allows me to draft an electronic message. Once in the new message file, I can draft as I see fit, though this is done within the system parameters. Two such parameters concern length of the message and time spent within the electronic messaging folio. Messages are allowed to be a maximum of 13,000 characters and prisoners are only allowed to spend 30 minutes at a time in the public messaging folio. As such, if I want to write a longer article or essay, I have to use multiple electronic message files. Also, if I draft for longer periods of time, I have to log on to work, log off for the requisite 30 minute period, and log back on. It can be expensive: using the service costs five cents a minute.